The UFC 258 co-main event just got a hard-fought war between the promotion’s #15 ranked, Alexa Grasso, and the #10 ranked, Maycee Barber. Both fighters were up to the challenge, with Grasso getting ahead early in the first-two frames, and then holding off a rallying Barber in the final round. This makes two-straight victories for Grasso at 125-pounds, which seems to be her new home where she could potentially compete for gold down the line.
It didn’t take very long for the fighters to clinch up, jockeying for position. They swapped positions against the cage, with neither woman able to fully takeover. In open space, Grasso was landing the cleaner punches. They kept going back to the clinch, exchanging short knees. Barber was hunting for elbows upon the breaks. It was quite the close round.
Grasso came out composed in the seocnd round, taking the center and picking her shots. Barber was stuck just outside of striking range, where Grasso was able to tee off. Several hard punches were absorbed before Barber had a chance to clinch up. After regaining her wits, Barber clocked her foe with a series of stinging punches. With less than 90-seconds to go in the round, Barber hit a takedown, but Grasso instantly threatened with an armbar to get on top. Alexa transitioned to the back but ran out of time to find a finish.
The final frame saw more clinch work, with Grasso landing some quality strikes in the clinch. Barber responded with a takedown and a couple of big ground strikes. Back on the feet, Barber started winging some heat, going for broke and letting her fists fly. They clinched up once again against the cage, and Barber worked her knees to the body. She backed off and started selling out again, but Grasso remained composed and defended well against the aggression until the bell.